News From The River

See the Latest Water Quality Monitoring Data from the FoRR Monitoring Team!

FoRR took to the river on Saturday, January 15 to monitor at three sites along the Reedy River! Sites #4 and #5 were monitored by our board member on Friday, January 14. Our sites include the following:

  • Site #1: Reedy River along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, downstream of Swamp Rabbit Cafe
  • Site #2: A small tributary of the Reedy River in Falls Park 
  • Site #3: Reedy River behind the ReWa headquarters (near our new office!)
  • Site #4: A tributary on Greenville Tech's Brashier campus in Simpsonville
  • Site #5: A tributary in Cedar Falls Park in Simpsonville

The pH and conductivity results this month were consistent with our findings in December at all five of our reported sites.

The dissolved oxygen (DO) for all sites increased noticeably by an average of 0.5 mg/L due to the much lower water temperatures this month. This happens because as water temperatures decrease, water's capacity for dissolved oxygen increases. The increased dissolved oxygen levels are further sustained by the lowered winter metabolisms of aquatic animals. As activity levels drop for water-dwelling animals, less oxygen is pulled from the water to be used by these organisms.

Bacteria levels decreased noticeably at all sites except for Falls Park, also due to January's much lower water temperatures. Contrary to what we would usually say, the increased bacteria count in Falls Park comes as a relief this month because it indicates a return to a healthy bacteria sample. If you'll recall last month's bacteria counts for Falls Park, our bacteria petrifilm results were alarmingly blank. We have been working with local officials to report and keep a close eye on this issue, but unfortunately have not yet discovered the cause of last month's odd findings. The bacteria count of 133.3 CFU/100mL is well within state standards and is not cause for concern. The remaining four sites all had bacteria levels of 100 CFU/100mL or lower for the month of January. We expect to see these counts stay relatively low through the cooler months and will likely see an increase once warmer temperatures return.

´╗┐We have included the SC State Standards below for comparison to our results.

Data from January 2022:

  • pH is a way of measuring the H+ ions in a water sample, or if the sample is acidic or basic. pH is influenced by the concentration of acids in rain, and the types of soils and bedrock present in the watershed. Ideally, rivers will have a neutral pH, or a value of 7.
  • The available dissolved oxygen (DO) in a water sample is important for fish health and life within a body of water. DO can increase in lower temperatures, turbulence in the water, photosynthesis in the stream, and diffusion from the atmosphere. DO can decrease in higher temperatures, in slow-moving and deep water, and in the presence of decaying organic matter.
  • Conductivity is the ability of the water to pass an electric charge and shows the presence of ions in the water, such as salt, nitrate, phosphate, and many others. The bedrock in the watershed can also affect conductivity
  • Bacteria counts are found by incubating a water sample that was placed on a medium, then counting the number of coliform forming units. These values are higher in areas where animals are present so always remember to pick up after your pets and don't feed the geese in the park!

THE FORR MONITORING TEAM USES SC ADOPT-A-STREAM TECHNIQUES AND HAS ITS OWN MONITORING KIT, THANKS TO IVY SALON!

 

SIGN UP TO JOIN THE FORR MONITORING TEAM HERE!

SEE THE UPCOMING SC ADOPT-A-STREAM WORKSHOPS HERE!

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